France puts on military show as Trump marks Bastille Day in Paris

Updated 3:47 PM EDT, Fri July 14, 2017
US President Donald Trump (2nd R) shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) and his wife Brigitte Macron (L), next to US First Lady Melania Trump, during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017.
The parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT        (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (2nd R) shakes hands with French President Emmanuel Macron (2nd L) and his wife Brigitte Macron (L), next to US First Lady Melania Trump, during the annual Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2017. The parade on Paris's Champs-Elysees will commemorate the centenary of the US entering WWI and will feature horses, helicopters, planes and troops. / AFP PHOTO / POOL AND AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT (Photo credit should read CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:15
Trump and Macron at Bastille Day (2017)
President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
PHOTO: Richard Drew/AP
President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Now playing
02:17
Trump claim to world leaders met with laughter
PHOTO: CNNMoney
Now playing
06:22
How Trump's tweet sparked #WhyIDidntReport
President Donald Trump points to the crowd after speaking to law enforcement officials on the street gang MS-13, Friday, July 28, 2017, in Brentwood, N.Y.
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump points to the crowd after speaking to law enforcement officials on the street gang MS-13, Friday, July 28, 2017, in Brentwood, N.Y.
Now playing
01:46
Trump's I'm-joking-but-not-really strategy
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15:  U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks to members of the White House Press Corps prior to his Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House December 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks to members of the White House Press Corps prior to his Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House December 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:20
Trump often says he's 'the least racist person'
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:00
Trump on Manafort: I feel sad about that
PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
01:22
Trump on Cordray: He was groomed by 'Pocahontas'
Now playing
05:58
Baldwin: This face behind Trump startled me
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:01
Trump responds to op-ed: 'Gutless'
PHOTO: CNN Illustration/Getty Images
Now playing
03:18
Why Woodward's book matters
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:13
Dean: Trump acts 'frighteningly dictatorial'
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08:  U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White House May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. After two and a half years of negotiations, Iran agreed in 2015 to end its nuclear program in exchange for Western countries, including the United States, lifting decades of economic sanctions. Since then international inspectors have not found any violations of the terms by Iran.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White House May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. After two and a half years of negotiations, Iran agreed in 2015 to end its nuclear program in exchange for Western countries, including the United States, lifting decades of economic sanctions. Since then international inspectors have not found any violations of the terms by Iran. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:31
Woodward book reveals 'crazytown' White House
PHOTO: CNN Illustration/Getty Images
Now playing
03:03
Trump's latest Twitter tirade lashes at media
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump waits to speak during a memorial service at the Pentagon for the 9/11 terrorist attacks  September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump waits to speak during a memorial service at the Pentagon for the 9/11 terrorist attacks September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:57
Trump warns of violence if GOP loses midterms
PHOTO: Photo Illustration: Getty Images/CNN Business
Now playing
01:40
Trump: Impeach somebody who's done great job?
PHOTO: Fox News Channel
Now playing
01:19
Trump on Sessions: What kind of man is this?

Story highlights

Security was tight as US President Donald Trump marked Bastille Day

US aircraft participated in the flyover over Paris

(CNN) —  

France treated President Donald Trump to an elaborate military display on Friday, a strategic show of friendship by the new leader here who hopes to elevate his country’s global standing by flattering his US counterpart.

Thousands of French troops paraded down the Champs-Élysées in a dramatic show of pageantry to mark the storming of the Bastille military prison in 1789, a turning point in the French Revolution.

Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron reviewed the procession side-by-side from a stand at the Place de la Concorde, appearing in periodic and friendly conversation during the two-hour spectacle, which included 241 horses, 63 airplanes and 29 helicopters all advancing down and above the tree-lined avenue.

They shared another extended handshake as they parted ways, each man gripping the other’s arm as they paced the cobblestones of the stately plaza.

This year, the celebration is also meant to commemorate the centennial of US entry into World War I, hence Macron’s invitation to Trump to attend.

In addition to the display of French military might, the parade was augmented by about 150 US soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines, as well as American aircraft participating in the flyover.

All told, Trump and Macron spent upwards of five hours in one-on-one time during Trump’s 30-hour visit to the French capital. Unlike past French presidents, Macron speaks nearly perfect English and could converse easily without a translator.

Added to his earlier meetings with Trump last month, Macron is now the foreign leader who has spent the most time with the US leader since he took office in January.

In brief remarks following the ceremony, Macron channeled some of Trump’s populist strains, declaring that France’s values must be preserved and underscoring a militaristic effort to uphold personal liberties.

“On this day of national celebration, we must not ever forget the price that we paid for conquering, for winning our rights,” he said. “The price which we are prepared to pay to defend them because it is they which unite us and make France, France and make France what it is today.”

Security around the area was tight amid heightened security in Paris following a series of terror attacks over the past several years. This year’s Bastille Day also marks the one-year anniversary of the truck attack along the Promenade des Anglais, in Nice, which killed more than 80. Macron was due to fly to the Riviera city to commemorate the victims after bidding Trump farewell in Paris.

It’s a packed itinerary for the new French president, who has taken to dramatic displays of Gallic splendor in welcoming Trump to France. Thursday saw a full military review and a tour of Napoleon’s tomb at Les Invalides before a haute dining experience on the second landing of the Eiffel Tower.

France acts as a key security partner for the United States and has been the second largest contributor to the US-led anti-ISIS coalition, but its days as a military power have faded somewhat. Macron hopes to return his country to major global standing, including by reaching out to the isolationist Trump.

Macron hopes to act as Trump’s bridge to Europe, his advisers have said, as other leaders here effectively isolate the US on a set of key issues. While Macron has made his differences with his American counterpart known, he’s also made plain his desire to foster a close bond.

Trump, meanwhile, has appeared more than pleased at his reception here. As President, Trump has basked in the traditional trappings of power, including the military symbols of the office.

Trump reportedly requested military hardware to be included in his inaugural parade, though ultimately the usual mix of marching bands processed down Pennsylvania Avenue instead of tanks and troops.

In Paris, however, Trump witnessed his desired show of military might, albeit another country’s. He stood and clapped as six F15 Thunderbirds flew overhead, saluted as American troops processed past, and appeared to enjoy a jaunty finale performed by a French military band.

He received applause as he departed, waving to a friendly crowd before stepping into his armored limousine for the ride to Orly airport — an upbeat departure for a leader who now returns back to a storm of controversy back home.